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EISCAT observations of pump-enhanced plasma temperature and optical emission excitation rate as a function of power flux

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Article numberA09301
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>6/09/2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Geophysical Research
Number of pages12
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We analyze optical emissions and enhanced electron temperatures induced by high power HF radio waves as a function of power flux using the EISCAT heater with a range of effective radiated powers. The UHF radar was used to measure the electron temperatures and densities. The Digital All Sky Imager was used to record the 630.0 nm optical emission intensities. We quantify the HF flux loss due to self-absorption in the D-region (typically 3–11 dB) and refraction in the F-region to determine the flux which reaches the upper-hybrid resonance height. We find a quasi-linear relationship between the HF flux and both the temperature enhancement and the optical emission excitation rate with a threshold at ∼37.5 μWm−2. On average ∼70% of the HF flux at the upper-hybrid resonance height goes in to heating the electrons for fluxes above the threshold compared to ∼40% for fluxes below the threshold.